The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War warns Ukraine and the West against Russian information operations portraying the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast as “having failed almost instantly or that depict Ukraine as a helpless puppet of Western masters for launching it at this time.”
- The Russian Ministry of Defense began “conducting an information operation to present Ukraine’s counteroffensive as decisively failed almost as soon as it was announced on August 29.”
- Several Russian well-known military bloggers – even those critical of the Kremlin – are promoting this message.
- Other milbloggers are additionally promoting the narrative that “Ukraine’s Western handlers pushed Ukraine to launch the counteroffensive prematurely and/or too late for ‘political’ reasons and because the West expected a counteroffensive.”
- Kremlin media outlets have also “centrally amplified allegations of civil-military conflict between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi to bolster the narrative that Zelensky sought to conduct a counteroffensive for inappropriate political reasons.” In contrast, Zaluzhnyi assessed that Ukrainian forces were not militarily prepared to do so.